Bullying: Race, Gender, Age, And Research Paper

Length: 13 pages Sources: 18 Subject: Children Type: Research Paper Paper: #29336685 Related Topics: School Bullying, Double Jeopardy, Red Bull, School Shootings
Excerpt from Research Paper :

For the children who were being bullied, there were no differences by race found for where it occurred, or the likelihood of getting help (2008). However, the researchers found a dramatic difference by race for racist name-calling with one-half of the Asian students who were bulled, but none of the bullied white students, experiencing name-calling in association to their skin color or ethnicity (2008).

However, in a study conducted by Boulton, Smith and Cowie (1992), the researchers examined the extent to which children showed an own-race preference in a sample of Asian and White students between the ages of eight and 10. The children were asked to show, using the aid of photographs of children of different ethnic groups and gender, which children they would want to sit by in class, have play on their team, help with homework, invite home, or play with on the playground (1992). In general, both Asian and white girls showed a preference for their own race and own sex, but gender is what appeared to be more important in almost every scenario. These results showed that race is a much less significant factor when it comes to determining children's preference for partners.

In a study conducted by Spriggs, Iannotti, Nansel, and Haynie (2007), the researchers examined the associations between bullying and family, peer, and school relations for white, black and Hispanic adolescents. The researchers used a nationally representative sample (N = 11,033) of adolescent in grades six to 10, asking them to participate in a 2001 Health Behaviors in School-Aged Children survey. This survey asked them to self-report bullying involvement and other information pertaining to family, peer and school relations (2007). Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression analyses controlling for age, gender, and affluence were stratified by race/ethnicity (2007).

Nine percent of the survey participants were victims of bulling, 9% were bullies, and 3% were "bully-victims" (Spriggs et al. 2007). African-American adolescents reported dramatically lower when it came to being victims of bullying, much lower than the white and Hispanic students (2007). Multivariate results showed modest racial/ethnic variation in associations between bullying and family, peer and social factors (2007). Communication with parents, social alienation, and student relationships were also related to bullying across racial/ethnic groups. Living with two biological parents was a safeguard against bullying involvement only for the white students. Moreover, though school satisfaction and performance were negatively linked with bullying involvement for white and Hispanic students, school factors were mainly unassociated with bullying among black students (2007).

Spriggs et al.'s (2007) study concluded with some interesting information. Though school attachment and performance were not related bullying behavior across race/ethnicity, bullying behavior was constantly linked to peer relationships across black, white, and Hispanic adolescents. The final conclusion of the study was that negative associations between family communication and bullying behaviors for all three ethnic groups show that there is a definite need for addressing family communication when it comes to helping to prevent bullies (2007).

Gender and Bullying.

Some of the earliest research on bullying focused on the physically aggressive behavior in boys because of the fact that physical aggression is easier to observe and it is a behavior that is more stereotypically male (Cowie & Jennifer 2008). In the 1980s and the 1990s, other researchers such as Farrington (1993) recognized that there were other forms of bullying such as verbal and psychological bullying and thus more research needed to be done than on just physical types of bullying.

By self-report, Nansel, Overpeck, Pilla, Ruan, Simmons-Morton and Schmidt (2001) state that boys are more likely than girls to bully others. Furthermore, girls frequently report being victims of bullying by both boys and girls, but boys most often bully other boys (Olweus 1993). The types of bullying that girls experience are often of a different nature than boys. While boys are more likely to be physically bullied, girls are more likely to report that they are victims of rumor-spreading and sexual comments (2001). Girls, as well, are more likely to bully by using social ostracism (1993).

Why is it that boys are more likely to be bullies than girls? The answer was usually that boys are more aggressive than girls. Rigby (2002), however, notes that this is true when we think of physical bullying and aggression, in general, but it is less true for verbal forms and...


In order to come to an answer regarding why males might bully more than females, it needs to be asked why males are more aggressive, in general, than females.

One of the most popular explanations for why males are more aggressive than females is that males are "physically constituted so as to be more aggressive than females" (Rigby 2002). Some researchers have tried to apply reasons such as brain difference or testosterone levels, but neither of these suggestions have proved to have a relationship with aggressive behavior (2002).

Age and Bullying.

In a study conducted by Hilarski, Dulmus, Theriot, and Sowers (2005), the researchers set out to reveal whether bullying decreased with age and if males or females were differently affected by bullying as children aged. Yet, what they found is that verbal bully-victimization tends to increase as children get older. Gender and grade level also showed females as being chronically exposed to threatening and physical bully-victimization unlike males. The study showed that males experience more overt bullying than females.

Reports of bully victimization seem to decrease with age. This, as Newman et al. (2004) notes, is not a coincidence most likely since the majority of research involving bullying has been conducted on younger children.

Disabilities, Other Differences and Bullying.

Horowitz, Vessey, Calrson, Bradley, Montoya, McCullough, and David (2004) studied the teasing and bullying experiences of 11-to 14-year-old middle school students from Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Mississippi, and found that the "sources of teasing and bullying were physical appearance, personal behavior, family and environment, and school relations" (2004). The researchers concluded that "being different in any way" was the primary theme (2004). Rigby (2002) notes that it is quite common to hear a child or adult say that someone is being bullied because "they are different." When looking at the differences that could lead to bullying, one will find quite a wide range of characteristics.

These include characteristics such as being obese, skinny, red-haired, bespectacled, wearing a hearing aid. When I have asked children whether children who look different are bullied more often then others, most children have said yes. However, research findings have been reported that throw doubt upon this judgment. & #8230;Dan Olweus claims that children in Sweden who look physically different are not bullied more often than most… We see a fat person being bullied and assume that obesity is the explanation, forgetting that many other bulky people are free form any kind of harassment. Yet doubt remains. The literature on disability and bullying makes it clear that some physical differences can and sometimes do give rise to bullying (Rigby 2002).

Olweus (1993) notes that physical differences other than size and strength make little or no difference to the likelihood of being bulled, but when the differences constitute 'disability' the situation may be different (Rigby 2002). There is quite a lot of information that suggests that disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to be bullied.

Some forms of bullying of disabled children may take the form of teasing and mocking and it is frequently seen with children who have a speech impediment (Rigby 2002). In a study in England of 324 adults who have a stammer, 83% of the individuals reported being bullied in school (Hugh-Jones & Smith 1999; Rigby 2002). Seventy-one percent reported that other students bulled them at least weekly while 18% reported that they were bullied by other students on a daily basis (1999; 2002). Rigby (2002) notes that this is much more than what is normally found among children. Likewise, research conducted by Durkin and Conti-Ramsden (2010) suggest that adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI) tend to be more vulnerable to bullying and other problems with peer relations than other adolescents. Mishna (2003) also found that there is significant research to believe that children with learning disabilities are at an increased risk of victimization.

There are many questions involving why disabled people should be the targets of frequent bullying. One's initial reaction to the question may be hard to belief, as most individuals would feel that someone who has disabilities should be treated with empathy and kindness (Rigby 2002); however, it is thought that disabled children are often bullied by other students because they are lacking in "valued qualities or abilities such as attractiveness, intelligence and athletic ability… they are often rejected by peers because they are socially incompetent and prone to depression" (Schneider 2000; Rigby 2002).

Effects of Bullying.

The effects of bullying are quite significant and have studies have shown that children who are bullied may…

Sources Used in Documents:


Arora, C.M.J. & Thompson, D.A. (1987). Defining bullying for a secondary school. Educational and child psychology,4(3), 110-120.

Cowie, Helen. & Jennifer, Dawn. (2008). New perspectives on bullying. Open University Press;

1st edition.

Cowie, Helen. (1994). Cooperation in the multi-ethnic classroom: the impact of cooperative group work on social relationships. David Fulton Publishers.

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